Tuesday, March 28, 2006

3/25/06 The First Sales of Spring

This Saturday morning the temperatures dipped down to 34 degrees. People want yard sales but only those with down coats dare stand out in the early morning cold attempting to divest their goods. Of course there are those inside the home estate sales, these continue as always. There were two near Decatur this morning.

Hummingbird Ct. - Decatur “Yard Sale”

I’m up early and driving to the first estate sale and realize that it does not start for another ten minutes. I then follow the signs for this event through the circuitous Heaton Park neighborhood. The sale is only five blocks away but over a mile if you follow the signs. When I arrive a man in a heavy coat is watching over a collection of stuff lining his driveway. Here I find a large pair of Realistic speakers, a bow with a single arrow, a very small paper shreader, linens, glassware, an Xmas tree stand, a box of three ring binders, a bag of foam monster ears, candles and a mirror made for watching yourself play golf.

A box of books includes some of the following titles, “Down the Road with the Grateful Dead”, “The Meat Cookbook” a Japanese phrasebooks and two works by Rush Limbaugh.

I buy the bow and arrow and the monster parts for my installation.

Golf mirror.

Chelsea Dr. - Heaton Park “Estate Sale”

This sale had started the day before so it was not surprising that a lot of the goods here had been pillaged and picked through. The sale was in a rather nondescript traditional one-story home. When I entered I found the estate seller’s table in the living room where a woman presided over some collectible coins and a few pieces of jewelry. Across from the table was another tabled covered with matchbox cars. There was not a lot in the living/dining room in the front of the home. On the wall hung a large painting of a lakeside scene. On another table was a one foot tall figurine of a boy holding a bird. There were also some serving pieces and a dinning room table and chairs being divested. The kitchen contained the usual assortment of glassware and cooking utensils. I looked for used food for sale but found none.

From the kitchen I descended into the basement. Here I found a bounty of large plastic toys which included an aircraft carrier, a castle and a nearly endless supply of plastic dinosaurs. Other clutter in the basement included disorderly piles of Xmas décor, an ashtry with the image of a pea pod, an old Singer sewing machine, a child’s wagon loaded with a globe and several balls and large bottles of windshield wiper fluid.

Loaded wagon found in basement.

Peas in a pod ashtray amid clutter.

In the den back upstairs was a cabinet filled with children’s videos, a PC selling for 80 dollars, a small abacus, a Easter tree, a framed painting of a young girls face and a skull mask with a mechanism for making it look like it was oozing blood. Propped up against a window were a number of old Theater of The Stars posters. One was for a production of Music Man staring Bert Parks.

The bedrooms contained some clothing, soccer trophies, the visible man model still in its box and a home made small futuristic looking very tapered Christmas tree. Other bedroom things included a large plush Pokeman and lps by Van Cliburn, Pablo Casals and Jim Nabors. One bedroom had four theatre type chairs in it and several pair of high heeled women’s boots.

I bought nothing.

Poster from the hey days of Atlanta musical theatre.

Face found on Chelsea.

Xmas tree of the future.

Bloody mask.

Glendale St. - Decatur “Estate Sale”

Going from one estate sale to another is wearisome. This one was in a traditional one-story brick home. Inside the door I greeted the estate sellers. Here they were set up around a large collection of political memorabilia. Most of it was in the form of buttons and bumber stickers. When I entered a man was digging in the pile for Goldwater items. I stopped and examined a box of postcards then headed to the rear of the home. In a bedroom, a dresser was covered with the remains of an old rock collection. Various rocks and stones were spilling out of old egg cartons and other containers. Among the rocks was a hand painted turtle shell. On another dresser was a pile of old political cartoons, some old road maps and a leaflet about the Slovaks. A large kitchen displayed no food for sale but did have an vastarray of glassware and barware along with a box containing several award plaques from the Benevolent Order of the Elks.

Rock collection and turtle shell.

Info on Slovaks

Vintage barb against Republicans.
A narrow staircase led to a finished attic that held the most interesting clutter in the home. Here I found piles of old newspapers dating back to the 1940’s, several panoramic photos of Butte Montana and a larged framed, signed photograph of Harry S Truman. A box of Lps in the attic yielded works by Black Sabbath, Queen and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. In one corner was a large map of Canada. At one end of the attic was a day bed with a nautical motif. One the bed was an embroidered Santa head and a pillow with an early American flag. Other stuff found upstairs included baby shoes, old telephones baseball trophies and three ring binders. A few books scattered about included “Applied Infrared Photography”, “The Embezzlers”, “Asian Dilemma”, “The Addict and the Law” and “Siamese Cats”.

Santa head on nautical bed.

Harry still rules in the attic.

News from the space age.

In another bedroom downstairs I located several books on early man and paleontology. Among the titles was “Human Evolution”, “ Ape into Human” as well as “Outline of Fractures”.

In an office at one end of the home a large map showing the routes traveled by western pioneers was displayed on one wall. Perusing the bookshelves I found numerous books on pioneer times and life on the Oregon Trail. On the floor I found another map this one a National Geographic map of the United States with a road route following close to that same pioneer trail, marked with a highlighter. Other books I found in the room included “Montana Atlas” and “Death and the Regeneration of Life”. On the shelves I also found a VHS tape entitled “Running a Steam Locomotive”

I bought nothing but on my way out noticed a scale model of a covered wagon on the mantle.

Covered wagon in home of follower of pioneer trails.

Maxwell Ave. - Oakhurst “Moving Sale”

The morning had warmed up considerable and it was nice to get outside the dark chambers of the estate sales. I remembered that I have been to this same house last year and had then found a large variety of sharp object laid out on the grass. Today there were none. Instead I found a brass bed frame, a large mirror, some pillows, a printer, an artichoke plate and a sledgehammer. Laid out on the ground was a device for relieving neck and back pain and several unopened prescription packages of pain patches.

I bought nothing.

Pain relief in Oakhurst.

Florida Ave. – Ormewood Park “Yard Sale”

Here two men looked over a selection of stuff placed on tabled near the sidewalk in-front of their recently sold home. Among the clutter I found two Ru Paul Cds, some swizzle sticks made from barbed wire, several Dummies books on Microsoft Office, a funnel cake maker, a large plush snowman and a number of men’s sweaters.

I bought nothing.

Carnival food makng kit for sale on Florida Ave.

Poets Corner – Ormewood Park “Street Sale”

Poets Corner is a cul de sac of new infill home built around the corner from the Burns Cottage in Ormewood park. The Burns Cottage is one of Atlanta’s anomaly attractions; built many years ago by the Hibernian society it is an exact replica of Robert Burns’s birth home. Like Elvis’ birth home in Tupelo there is not a lot to it. But this was the first time I had been to this new development in my old neighborhood and was amazed at how child friendly it appeared, as the center of the cul de sac appeared to be were the Ormewood tots leave their large plastic toys. Overall the selection of small sales in close proximity to one another was not very interesting. Furthering my premise that infill housing does not result in good yard sales. There was a lot of kids stuff, slightly outdated computer gear and a lot of pullover shirts.

I bought a shirt but it was not a pullover.

Tiny replica of Mont Saint Michel found amid boring stuff on a cul de sac.

Woodward Ave. Turnip Town “Yard Sale”

Turnip Town is what someone called the area south of Memorial across from Cabbagetown. I do not know the extent of this usage. The woman having the sale welcomed me and said that she had only made three dollars all day. I looked for something to buy and considered an unopened box of chocolates on her porch. She was also selling packages of chewing gum, makeup and a spiked wristband.

I bought nothing.

A woman's stuff for sale in Turniptown.
Woodward Ave. Grant Park “Neighborhood Sale”

It was getting late when I headed to this street where Grant Park meets Cabbagetown. The many small sales were much more Grant Park yuppie than Cabbage town weird. Among the few things I did notice was a large wooden camel and an Impeach Bush sing hanging over a collection of clutter for sale. I had reached sale saturation at this point but did take note of the final sale of the series at the end of a dead end street off of Woodward. Here two women were divesting more than the others in the area. Among their stuff was a framed picture of a VW taken through a chain link fence and a bounty of plastic flowers.
I bought a few things for my installation

A camel on Woodward.

Framed photo of Volkwagen.

Used printer and a political statement.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

3/18/06 Mimosas and memories of war

This Saturday I set out early, a remarkable feat since the previous night was St. Patrick’s Day. Smaller neighborhood sales are starting to crop up but the full-blown season of yard sales has yet to arrive.

Two prayers found at estate sale.
Leonardo Ave. – Lake Claire “Yard Sale”

This sale was a small affair just two blocks from my home. In the driveway was a tiny table made from a floor tile, a pair of life-size ceramic praying hands, several area rugs, a dinette table and some Xmas goblets. A single table in the next driveway contained a few bungee cords, some old 9- volt adapters, a few knives and a Polavsion movie camera.
I bought nothing

Oxford Dr. – Lake Claire “Yard Sales”

There were two separate sales on Oxford on the same block. The first featured a meager selection of stuff watched over by a disheveled looking man in front of a large two-story frame home. In the yard was a blanket with paintball guns masks and accessories on it. Other stuff in the yard included a few 70’s rock Lps, some men’s clothing and a flatbed scanner. The seller told me the women down the street were selling mimosas at their sale. He said if he was planning on selling cans of PBR later in the morning.

At the sale up the street the women were drinking mimosas on their porch but they did not offer me one. Among the stuff in their yard was a small tent, a golf bag, a black board and several empty picture frames. While looking about one of the sellers placing things in a box of books exclaimed “we have every type of diet book for sale in here”. The box did hold a wide selection of diet books but also contained a copy of “The Story of O”, ‘The Frugal Gourmet” and a VHS copy of “Velvet Goldmine” as well a Tae Bo video. A table in the yard held some chopsticks, an unopened set of satin sheets and a blender with a sign that said “margarita machine”.
I bought nothing.
Bramley St. – Edgewood “Moving Sale”

I headed to Edgewood looking for a sale mentioned in Craigslist that was supposed to be on Whiteford. I never found the Whiteford sale but came across this sale instead. On the sidewalk in front of a frame bungalow was a row of tables with a variety of clutter. In the street was a modern sofa with two lamps that the seller had designed himself. On the tables was a small TV, a pair of small AR speakers, a pair of roller blades, a camera case filled with mini bottles of shampoos from different hotels and two boxes of jumbled cables. Across the street another man was selling T-shirts from the back of a trailer.
I bought a new wallet for two dollars and five t-shirts for one dollar.

Stylist lamps in the street. Posted by Picasa
McConnel Dr. – Toco Hills “Estate Sale”

Encountering two full estate sales in the same week is difficult for me. It’s a bit of clutter overload. This one attracted me since the term ephemera was used in the ad in the AJC. The sale started on Friday but there was still a lot remaining in the roomy ranch home near Emory when I arrived. I walked past the estate seller’s tables in a living room with walls covered with Japanese prints and headed to the kitchen. There I found a mug with the logo of the Society of Former Special Agents and a wooden box with the word Spud on the cover. The box was filled with 38 caliber bullets. Next to the kitchen was a solarium like dining room. This was the room where the ephemera was on display. Most of it was personal photographs taken by the estate owner while he was a marine in the south pacific during the second world war. Among the photos were men in uniform, severed heads, and topless islanders. Other artifacts were a variety of military medals, ribbons and commendations. While I delight in examining the lives of others it seemed sad for the family to divest itself of such remarkable artifacts. Other less remarkable artifacts included a diploma from a Polygraph training institute, a card shuffler and an ice bucket with the number 72 on it.

Memories of a war for sale. Posted by Picasa

Live ammo in a box marked spud. Posted by Picasa
Around the home were things mundane and special. A large mounted sailfish was found in one bedroom. Below it on the wall was a photograph of the fisherman who caught it and freshly caught sailfish hanging behind him. A more remarkable find was a small envelope I discovered on the floor next to some Lps. On it was scrawled “Mom’s hair” and a hospital room number. Inside was a lock of hair. Memories pervaded the home site, from a old army knapsack hanging on the wall next to a plate with the Mogen David emblazoned on it to a pair of trunks sitting in the drive way.

A fish and an image of it's capture. Posted by Picasa

A part of Mom is found in the clutter. Posted by Picasa

Knapsack hanging next to judaica. Posted by Picasa

A trunk full of messages. Posted by Picasa

Recording found amid family relics. Posted by Picasa

Two views of a fez. Posted by Picasa
A pair of old trunks was perplexing, an older one obviously came from the owner’s military days while the other was marked with all sorts of scrawled Christian comments. The multitude of photographs paired up with many artifacts in the home. A Shriners Fez sitting atop a styrofoam head could was also in a photo upon the head of its smiling owner. A fair amount of books and media were scattered about the residence from Lps included works by Johnny Mathis, Roger Williams and a classical crossover one entitled Scheherajazz. On bookshelves I found the following titles- “The Complete Search for Significance”, “Your Key to happiness”, “Pavilion of Women” and “Who’s Your Fat Friend”.
I bought nothing.


Highland Walk - Morningside “Estate Sale

When the Millionaire Next Door was published at the height of the dot com bubble the authors told of new nouveau rich who have a million dollars but lived in the same neighborhoods as the people who might buy this type of book. The book was not just a 90’s period piece but also an indicator that inflation had made the term millionaire mundane. Some quick arithmetic shows us that if an average wage earner had a million bucks they might be able to get by for only ten to 20 years depending on how the spent it. Private airplanes, Palm Beach mansions and butlers, these things are out of reach for just plain millionaires. Regardless of this loss of cache the estate sale folks who put together this event advertised it as an estate sale at the home of a millionaire. Concerned that millionaires were now next door I wandered out to see what was in one millionaire’s home. What I did find in the case of this millionaire is that he owned a lot of plush toys. The sale was in a infill community I had never seen before (which is getting more common every day) near the shopping area on Amsterdam that used to be warehouses (yet another thing in Atlanta these days.) Thus the common millionaire lives in a stylish looking row home squeezed into a gate dead-end street with other houses the same size. When I arrived there was still a lot a clutter in every room. An in nearly every room I found plush toys. What I found is that having a million dollars allows one to buy two of every plush toy. There were two Alfs, two cute dinosaurs and two happy bears. Beside the copious plush a few other indicators of the rich still being different is that they have guns. Now I’m as big a supporter of gun ownership as anyone, but firearms are not often found at sales in Virginia Highlands where bread makers and copies of “What color is your parachute” are the norm. Upon entering the dinning room I encountered a seller exhorting a buyer holding a small caliber rifle with “put that down! It’s already sold!” It is equally interesting that there were not only real firearms but toy ones as well and an animal shot with a gun, namely a large mounted Canadian goose that was sitting on the floor of the living room. I am a fan of the art and beauty of taxidermy. But Canadian geese have become such common pest birds since global warming put their flyway through out city. That they are now considered little more that large possums of the sky. A lot of other stuff had hunting motifs, such as plates with duck and barware with waterfowl. Anther common motif at this sale was bulldogs. Not your common red sweater clad UGA canine, but ones resembling those on the hood of a Mack truck. A table had over a dozen ceramic ones. Mack trucks themselves were well represented for on a table I found two commemorative pewter plates with Mack images on them. Other stuff on the table included a hobo clown dolls sans clothing, a toy monkey wearing a fez and about a dozen little toy trucks. A lot of the first floor of the home contains the usual furnishings of an upscale home as well as the usual kitchen appliances- coca cola mementos, piles of quilts and a boomerang. There were four bottles of desert wine on the floor for sale as well as a handful of 1996 Olympic credentials.

Don't touch the already sold firearms. Posted by Picasa

Naked hobo. Posted by Picasa

Mounted Goose nesting near firearms Posted by Picasa

Men of wealth have two of everything. Posted by Picasa
The upstairs rooms reveled more. Here the multitude of plush continued. In a bedroom/office upon a large computer desk was a collection of bobbing and non-bobbing head sports figurines as well as sports oriented Xmas figures. On the floor were several skateboards, an electric golf putting game and a large framed photo of players in Superbowl XX. Some books found in the bedroom included the titles ‘Listening to Love”, “Couplehood” and “The Book of Success”. The twp large bathrooms had their share of plush as well. In one near a stack of thick cotton towels were two bears and a figurine of a demon riding a motorcycle. Off of the master bedroom was a sitting room with a wide window that looked out over the rooftops of the other homes in the development and the midtown skyline. Hanging on the wall was a framed photograph of the Atlanta skyline. In the bedroom closet was a fair amount of highly priced men’s business and casual attire.
The lower level had the most interesting clutter. When I descended the stairs I overheard a man saying “I hope when I die a lot of people I don’t like go poking thought all my stuff”. Here in the basement was more plush and a large selection of holiday décor. Most of it was for Xmas including a pair of snow people labeled snowbirds, a snowman playing a piano and two large metallic reindeer with candelabra on their antlers. On the floor in that room was an unopened box of a kit for making prints of your pet dog’s feet. Another room had a selection of garish Halloween décor featuring smiling plastic jack-o-lanterns and a stunned looking five-foot scarecrow. There was a selection of sports and recreation goods found in the basement including skis, roller blades, ice skates, golf clubs and a bowling ball. On the floor of one room were two boxes of college economics textbooks with a handsaw painted with a pastoral scene resting on top. Nearby was a box of Lps by artist such as Gino Vanelli, Taylor Dayne, Queen and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. A door in the basement led to a garage that contained a treadmill, a pair of Realistic speakers, more boxes of golf balls, several bathroom light fixtures in their original boxes, a shop vac, a wooden cutout of one of the Snow White drawfs and a variety of garden chemicals.I bought the realistic speakers for ten dollars.

Strange figure found in basement.

Pawprint capturing kit.

Dwarf found in garage.